Wild Card Weekend, Day 2. 0-2 on two close coin flips on Day 1. Playoffs, where the sharpest lines come to play. Let’s dive in.
Vikings @ Saints (Saints -7.5)
This game comes at least a round too early.
NO ranks #4 in overall team efficiency with Minnesota ranking #7.
- Vikings: #10 (#10 in passing, #15 in rushing)
- Saints: #11 (#3 passing, #12 rushing)
- Vikings: #7 (#7 against the pass, #9 rushing)
- Saints: #11 (#13 passing, #5 rushing)
Lots of parity here. The Saints strong rush defense sets them up for a strong matchup here forcing Cousins to beat them, something he’s been pretty inconsistent doing in his career.
I do like Minnesota coming off back to back losses to really light the fire here.
The Saints dropped 2 winnable games this season (Rams in an emotional early season battle) and Atlanta, but have been playing fantastic football since losing to SF, with a gritty away win vs. the playoff bound Titans and a smackdown against the underrated Colts on national TV.
So what it do? Common opponents = a bit of a wash here, but it’s hard to see NO not winning at home.
Covering on the other hand? I didn’t hate the Saints while the line flirted around 7.5/7 (would have liked to buy it to 6.5), but at 8, I have to roll with the Vikings.
Vikings +8 -115, half unit.
Seahawks @ Eagles (Eagles PK, 22%)
An interesting statistic:
Chew on that for a second, and then combo that with 84% of the public being on the Seahawks. How can I not love the Eagles?
Looking under the hood, things get a little bit harder to figure out.
The line favors the Eagles. The Seahawks have been hot / high profile / dominant on the road. The Eagles have floundered into the playoffs. Why is the line so small?
Wentz is a first time playoff QB. As we discussed with the Josh Allen yesterday, that’s not a good thing.
SEA offense is the real deal, ranking #5 in offensive efficiency. They are BANGED UP at RB (#6 in the league), but just brought back BEAST MODE. I do think a drop off, but not too too much, and the story line alone is incredible.
Philly offense isn’t as bad as expected (#14th) and their run game has really stepped up recently. They rank #17 in passing and #10 in the run.
Defensively is where Philly has salvaged the season, but this is not a good matchup. They Rank #16 against the pass (TROUBLE) and 4th against the run. Expect SEA to air to out early and often.
SEA of course is a west coast team, and perception has been that west coast teams are worse on the east coast. Per the Action network, teams west coast teams cover at a 50.9% rate, but since 2013, this jumps to 59.2%. There’s no fade-story here.
Looking at this season ATS trends, SEA is 5-2-1 ATS on the road, vs. 3-5 from Philly at home. SEA also hasn’t covered their last 4, losing 3 outright. Meanwhile, Philly has won 4 straight and covered 3, but against other NFC East trash.
Lots of conflicting data here. This will be a no play from me unless some beers win me over.
My heart wants the Seahawks, my head says Eagles.
Fuck it, it's the playoffs. Let's have some fun. Eagles PK, half unit.